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Industry 4.0
Continental launches qualification initiative

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Plant Construction, Engineering & Components

Continental has founded an institute for technology and transformation. The primary task of the new institute is the qualification of all employees in Germany. Initially, the focus is on the group of untrained and semi-skilled workers, who Continental is giving access to further education and training programs certified by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The institute’s services cover Industry 4.0, new drive concepts and digitalization.

“As electrification and digitalization become more widespread, simple tasks are being replaced by more complex tasks that require training. These changes are far-reaching and affect the entire industry. Qualification is therefore only possible through a sensible sharing of the burden: lawmakers, trade unions and companies must all work together,“ explains Dr. Ariane Reinhart, Executive Board member for Human Relations. “Above all, the employees also need to play their part. Our institute provides the framework for self-development and maintaining their employability.”

The company uses the Continental Institute of Technology and Transformation (CITT) to actively manage the transformation process currently taking place across the entire automotive industry. The institute was designed in collaboration with the Continental Corporate Works Council, IG Metall and IG Bergbau, Chemie, Energie (Metal, Mining, Chemical and Energy Industries Unions) to secure the long-term employability of employees.

Qualification only works if employees invest their own time

The projected costs for needs-based qualification are huge. They include both training costs and costs for lost working hours. “The qualification of employees is a task of historic proportions. As a company, we bear overall responsibility but cannot implement needs-based qualification alone. To train only 20 percent of our employees in Germany for nine months would cost us €1 billion,“ explains Reinhart. Continental is accordingly calling on lawmakers, companies and, above all, employees to share the costs of the necessary qualifications. “The Qualification Opportunity Act is the first step. But we also need our employees to be willing to change and invest time outside working hours in their own qualification.“

CITT offers certified further vocational education and training courses

Continental is implementing a transparent, selective approach to strategic workforce planning to determine the future qualification requirements of different employee groups. Validated diagnostic procedures are used to compare the individual skills and abilities of employees with their future field of activity. Further training is provided wherever qualification is required. The institute is initially focusing on further training programs for production employees. The first measures start in September. The qualification opportunities for Industry 4.0, new drive concepts and digitalization will be gradually extended for the selective further education and training of all employees in Germany. In order to achieve this objective, the institute is devising an appropriate qualification strategy, establishing the required program structure, managing the different training options and ensuring standardized implementation at the various locations. The quality of the training will also be assured by ICC certifications and vocational qualifications. “It was very important to us to assume responsibility at an early stage. The purpose of founding the CITT was in the interests of all our employees, to define the framework and measures that will secure their future employability,“ explains Hasan Allak, chairman of Continental’s corporate works council. “Now it’s important for our employees to show a high degree of willingness to learn, and proactively and independently join in shaping their future.”

Plant Construction, Engineering & Components Pumps & Compressors Videos

Qdos
Versatile chemical metering pumps

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Watson-Marlow Qdos - accurate, versatile chemical metering pumps

Cut chemical costs through higher accuracy metering.

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Plant Construction, Engineering & Components Safety & Security

New flexible safety system
Smooth upgrading of process plants

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Hima has brought a new programmable safety system onto the market in the form of the Hi-Quad X. (Picture: Hima Paul Hildebrandt)
Hima has brought a new programmable safety system onto the market in the form of the Hi-Quad X. (Picture: Hima Paul Hildebrandt)

Hima Paul Hildebrandt, provider of smart safety solutions for industrial applications, has brought a new programmable safety system onto the market. The flexible and scalable Hi-Quad X is a further development of the Hi-Quad, which has been securing over ten thousand applications worldwide for around 30 years. It fits seamlessly into Hima’s Smart Safety Platform.

The Hi-Quad X is not just a flexible, efficient safety system; it is also an important component in Hima’s new, technically coherent Smart Safety Platform, which unifies all safety systems of the company. Hardware and software are closely aligned. Plant operators thus receive a scalable solution which they can use to cover the complete safety and security requirements for small single applications right through to complex architectures of large-scale plants in line with requirements.

The Smart Safety Platform is based on the use of basic components which are identical for all Hima product families, including operating system, engineering tool and communication via Safe Ethernet. The fact that platform components can be combined freely means that virtually every customer solution can be developed and implemented. The holistic approach enables companies to use a solution from one source, thereby reducing the complexity of their plants considerably.

New performance dimensions, flexible system architecture and integrated intrinsic safety

With the implementation of the proven platform technology, the Hi-Quad X reaches a new performance dimension. Users thus benefit from a reduced system cycle and reaction time, particularly for floating point calculations. The increased diagnostic capability, which permits quicker defect tracking during maintenance work, provides additional benefits. On the one hand the more flexible system architecture enables the timely use of redundant modules right through to complete redundancy. On the other hand retrospective adaptations to the system for application programs, hardware and communication can be undertaken – even during operation.

The Hi-Quad X system also enables the use of SIL3 modules with integrated intrinsic safety (Ex protection). Users no longer need a separate isolation amplifier for their intrinsically safe SIL circuits. The benefits of the diagnostics provided can therefore be utilized up to the field device without any losses. Other benefits include the simplification of planning, documentation and furnishing proof of the intrinsic safety. The fact that flawed plant outages due to defective isolation amplifiers are no longer an issue is another huge bonus. This is made possible by the redundant connection options which always permit the exchange of defective system components during operation.

The Hi-Quad X system can of course be connected with every basic process control system (BPCS), even on a redundant pathway. It then continues to run independently even if an error occurs in the BPCS or in the communication. The security mechanisms which are installed assist with this process. They create a virtual and also a physical separation when standard protocols are used.

Hima customers who already use Hi-Quad systems benefit from the upgrade to Hi-Quad X with short plant outages and considerably reduced costs when compared to new installations. The I/O modules including field wiring can continue to be used. This enables users to make savings in terms of investment and costs for testing and documentation.

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Mechanical & Thermal Processes Plant Construction, Engineering & Components

Adaptable and user-friendly

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Ecolite condensing units are suitable for a whole host of applications – here, for example, at a Danish brewery. (Picture: Bitzer)
Ecolite condensing units are suitable for a whole host of applications – here, for example, at a Danish brewery. (Picture: Bitzer)

The independent refrigeration and air conditioning specialist Bitzer has expanded its range of condensing units to include a new series. The seven air cooled Ecolite models have been designed for low and medium temperature applications and are available in an attractive housing.

The three Ecolite LHL3E condensing units with one fan and the four LHL5E models with two fans open up a wide range of applications, from 1.5 kW to 5 kW in the low temperature refrigeration range and from 3.5 kW to 16 kW in the medium temperature range. All seven models in the new series have been designed as standard for a wide range of both low and medium temperature applications – for example, in cold stores, display counters and small shops. Their compact, low sound design and the use of efficient components in combination with the capacity control of the semi-hermetic compressors make them exceptionally adaptable.

Flexible and compact

Thanks to the Varistep mechanical capacity control, all Ecolite condensing units offer stepless capacity adjustment in a range from 50 to 100 per cent. The LHL5E models enable flexible capacity control between 10 and 100 per cent as an optional feature. Ecolite has also been specially developed for low sound operation and features a robust and corrosion-resistant housing for outdoor use. Thanks to their compact construction, the condensing units can also be easily integrated even when space is limited. Another advantage of the series is the low refrigerant charge required thanks to efficient mini-channel condensers with a high heat transfer rate. The company has also integrated proprietary components optimised for the system as well as its Ecolite reciprocating compressors into the Ecolite series.

Future-proof and sustainable

Ecolite condensing units are easy to use, have control software developed by Bitzer and work very reliably thanks to the well-known development and production work at Bitzer. Users benefit from the fact that all components are precisely matched to one another. The entire series is Ecodesign-compliant and has been designed for use with common refrigerants, including those with a low global warming potential such as HFO blends. The extensive equipment and plug-and-play concept make installing and commissioning the condensing units very quick and easy.

Intuitive and convenient

All the components of the Ecolite condensing units are easily accessible, whilst its controller offers intuitive operation and enables use of the Bitzer Electronics Service Tool (BEST). BEST assures a user-friendly overview of parameters and the operating status and also offers support via a data logging function and the convenient setting of parameters. And with their optional accessories, the Ecolite condensing units show their practical side too: for example, a second capacity control for the LHL5E models, an oil separator with check valve and a temperature sensor for operation based on room temperature are available.

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